A Time to Tweet

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So you’ve just created the most amazing link bait for your site, pat yourself on your back…but you’re not done just yet. Promoting your content is the next step to make sure you generate the traffic and links to your site you want. Twitter is a great tool for getting your message out as followers already have an interest in you and what you have to say.

A major problem with Twitter is that it’s transient in nature; people are being bombarded by Tweets every minute. Even if you have the most interesting content, if you don’t announce it at the right time your tweet may be lost. There’s another problem too, it’s not just a case of capturing the largest audience possible, you want to target people who will pass your content on. A simplistic way of thinking about it is imagining followers are one of three different types of people:

  • Followers who just listen
  • Followers who listen and Retweet
  • Influential followers who listen and Retweet

Influential followers are the people who run blogs and may consider linking to your content or people who have a lot of respect in their industry and whom people listen to. Targeting these influential people can give your content much larger reach than you initially imagined and even some nice links back to your site.

When are people on your site?

Its clear then getting the most out of your content involves finding out when people usually view your site and when the key influential followers are on. Let’s begin by going into Google Analytics (or whatever analytics package you use) and creating a custom report using the “Unique Visitors” metric and “Hour of the day” dimension, see below:

The resulting report should show you what the most popular times are for viewing your site. Remember to select a decent time frame to get good sample data to make your findings as accurate as possible.

Target your influential followers

The second step is to identify who your most influential followers are and to find when they’re most frequently on Twitter. The tool I like to use for this is ReFollow, it’s very good at sorting out the wheat from the chaff follower wise as it has plenty of filters. It can also handle all your followers at the same time so it’s great if you have an unmanageable amount.

Use the settings: “Following Me” “With Picture” “Tweeted in the last Day” then sort by “Follow Count”, to find out who are your most influential are. Look through the followers listed starting from the top and select the users who you think are the most appropriate. Take the results with a pinch of salt if you have lots of spammers following you as they can clog up your follower rankings.

Now find out when they’re most frequently on using Tweet O’clock. Collect information on as many users as you feel suitable, place it all in a table to help you identify trends and select the perfect time. This is a very manual process but you should have to do it only once in a while.

Conclusion

Finally simply find the time that’s best for you and tweet away. You will frequently find that timings conflict with each other so you need to think whether you want the traffic that comes with Tweeting at the most popular time or building links via influential followers. If you have a lot of international followers who are on very early in the morning use a service like CoTweet to plan your tweets.

One final trick that I’ve seen Rand Fisher use is to announce the “grade A” content is coming before it hits. Not only does this wet peoples appetite but you can potentially get much more coverage for your content.

Now get out there Tweeting!

United States (US): New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Austin, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Seattle, Denver, Washington, Boston, El Paso, Detroit, Nashville-Davidson, Memphis, Portland, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas, Louisville
United Kingdom (UK): London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Kirklees, Fife, Wirral, North Lanarkshire, Wakefield, Cardiff, Dudley, Wigan, East Riding, South Lanarkshire, Coventry, Belfast, Leicester, Sunderland, Sandwell, Doncaster, Stockport, Sefton, Nottingham
Canada: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Mississauga, North York, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Scarborough, Québec, Hamilton, Brampton, Surrey, Laval, Halifax, Etobicoke, London, Okanagan, Victoria, Windsor, Markham, Oshawa, Gatineau, Vaughan, Kitchener, Longueuil, Burnaby, Ladner, Saskatoon
Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Logan City, Geelong, Hobart, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Darwin, Rockingham, Launceston, Bendigo, Ballarat, Mandurah, Mackay, Bundaberg, Bunbury, Maitland, Armadale, Rockhampton, Adelaide Hills, South Brisbane, Hervey Bay

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